So What Is Metal Gear Survive?

Image: Supplied

Hideo Kojima may have left Konami, but that doesn’t mean the end of Metal Gear. Or, potentially, Metal Gear’s reanimated corpse. Last week at Gamescom, Konami showed its willingness to take it into unexpected places. Metal Gear Survive abandons the cinematic, single-player focus of the previous games, twisting the series into a 4-player co-op stealth action game.

Konami is withholding the details of Metal Gear Survive but, between the trailer and an interview with one of the company’s community managers at Gamescom, I’ve put together a picture of what the game actually is.

The story of Metal Gear goes that at the end of Ground Zeroes, a special forces group called XOF attack Mother Base (the base of operations for Big Boss’ mercenary organisation Militaires Sans Frontières). The attack destroys the base and Big Boss attempts to escape in a helicopter but an explosion downs the aircraft, leaving Big Boss in a nine-year coma. Metal Gear Solid 5 kicks off with Big Boss awaking from that coma.

Metal Gear Survive has it that there is more to that night of the XOF attack. While Big Boss tried to escape Mother Base, a great many MSF soldiers were left behind and - this is where it gets a bit weird - they were sucked into a dark swirling portal that appeared above the burning base. The portal transported the troops to a strange desert world and your goal is to get the back to Earth.

Let’s not skip over that whole portal thing. This seems like a bit of a departure from the standard fare of the Metal Gear series, which is saying something, considering the main villain of Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4 is a man being controlled by his arm transplant. And we shouldn’t forget the fiery demon who stalks you throughout Metal Gear Solid 5.

Or the myriad of bosses throughout the series who have psychic powers and vampiric abilities. Portals aren’t entirely new to the series: the Fulton airlift system of Peace Walker and The Phantom Pain evolved through Metal Gear Online to let you transport soldiers through dark portals to get them back to your base safely.

So, yes, the whole portal plot is silly. But what happens when you get through there is even more of a deviation from the Metal Gear we know.

Metal Gear Survive plants you down on the world on the other side of this portal in a desert filled with chunks of destroyed mother base, a few MSF survivors, and, as the trailer shows, a whole host of crystalline zombies. (While the enemies looks similar to the parasite-infected troops in The Phantom Pain, a Konami rep confirmed that they weren’t linked.)

These brainless enemies fill the open landscape of Metal Gear Survive. You can see in the trailer that they flock to fenced walls that surround the ruin of mother base, acting as a constant threat to you and your team.

While the focus of the trailer is on action, Survive can be played more stealthily. Its levels will be large and open to give you the opportunity to avoid enemies. And, as you can play in a team of four, you’ll be able to use each other as a distraction, with one player making themselves known to draw enemies away from the other still hidden players.

Iron pipes can be picked up from the environment and used to spar with the zombies. Later shots in the trailer show what may be the results of crafting, a spear made from a combat knife strapped to a pole is one example, an arrow with a drill bit tip is another.

Image: Supplied

Konami wouldn’t confirm this, but I suspect the Mother Base ruin will act as a hub where you’ll be able to research and craft new gear from resources you find out in the wild. So, basically, we’re looking at a Metal Gear version of Left 4 Dead meets Dead Island.

The trailer ends with the suggestion of an enemy much larger than the zombies on show. The Konami rep confirmed this, saying you would fight enemies of a massive scale in Survive. Considering this game is, according to IGN, built in the same engine as The Phantom Pain, a game that let you battle the four-story tall mech Sahelanthropus, I expect we’ll have to fight some massive crystalline monsters. Doing this in co-op is a pretty exciting prospect.

The Konami rep at Gamescom wouldn’t say if Survive was being made by the same people that worked on Metal Gear Solid 5 - only that it was a Tokyo-based team. Clearly this game will not have the input of Hideo Kojima, the best-known name attached to the Metal Gear series, but he was part of a much larger team. Metal Gear has always been made at Konami, and it might comfort concerned Metal Gear fans to remember that there are still plenty of developers at the publisher who have a long history with this series.

You Can Now 3D Print Working Game Controllers

This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour from the British isles.


    there are still plenty of developers at the publisher who have a long history with this series

    Yeah, but how many of them are actually working on the game, as opposed to working as security guards, cleaning Konami's fitness clubs or working in their pachi-slot factory?

      Only because this is Konami we're talking about, I have to ask this question: Are you being serious or is this just a joke?


        Last edited 23/08/16 2:47 pm

    ...and it might comfort concerned Metal Gear fans to remember that there are still plenty of developers at the publisher who have a long history with this series.That means nothing if it isn't them calling the directorial shots though.

    Given what little we know so far this could, with a little wishful thinking, be like MGO with co-op missions and instead of having items air dropped to you, you need to scavenge and craft. The pessimist in me says though that this is probably Konami stretching MGS' skin over an existing formula to try and rake in a bit of cash from fans who somehow haven't become aware that the main creative vision behind the series has left.

    It might turn out to be a fun game, seriously it might. But as a Metal Gear game, it holds absolutely zero interest for me. Konami lost money on their Pachinko and all other revenue options last year, they clearly announced they were dumping gaming and then backtracked upon this loss eventuating.

    So now, they rushed out this hybrid monster of a game. Again it might be fun, probably will be, but it's not a MGS game to me personally without Kojima calling the shots. That's just my opinion. It doesn't scream anything about the MGS world to me, the fact they've just dropped 'zombies' into it screams 'desperate market ploy' to make money and highly unoriginal.

    I've already got dozens of zombie based team games or multiplayer games, it won't be hard to avoid this one and not give #fuckonami my money. I just really hope Kojima manages to make himself a top brand again in gaming with an excellent game.

    They should have just gone back into the assets for mission 51 and released it as DLC for $200.

    This is one of those times that I'm grateful I don't have anything invested in the franchise beyond loving the shit out of MGS V and vaguely recalling playing MGS 1 & 2 but not being particularly fussed on them.

      For those of us who have loved the series for years, this is like turning up at the funeral to pay your respects to your beloved grandmother, only to find some deviant has got into the coffin and is defiling her corpse :P

        Loved the series for years, don't have that feeling whatsoever.

        Rather be patient and receptive to interesting things than to chuck a wobbly because of a perceived slight.

      You gotta play MGS 3, it's still by far the best one. It was the game that elevated the franchise into something amazing for me. The survival mechanics were so so awesome and I hate that they didn't bring them back.

    But how will I insert coins into my gaming machine of choice when I play this????

    Kojima has been expressing since at least 2001 that he would like to relinquish the director role to someone else for the continuation of the series.
    A small number of entries alongside the main series have been handled by different directors and designers: Ghost Babel (GBC), the Acid series (PSP), Portable Ops (PSP), and most recently MGR: Revengeance. All received high praise critically and within the community.
    These past deviations from the core of the main series were great in that that showed what can happen if something different is tried. Hell, Revengeance shouldn't have worked, but it's a phenomenal entry to the series.

    I'm happy to see what other directors and designers can do in the future. Kojima's work will still stand, regardless of what happens.

      Yeah but there's a massive difference between handing off the series and being fired and having your own baby thrown to 'whoever' without your say.

        There is. Which is why, instead of focusing on the shitfest between Konami and Kojima, I emphasised the potential for new and different ventures to be great.

      Exactly this. Anyone claiming that only Kojima can do Metal Gear doesn't really have much respect for what Kojima himself publicly claimed to be his long-term vision for the series.

      That said, Konami's apparent blatant disregard for Kojima in recent years and reports about their business model doesn't exactly fill me with hope for their creative vision.

      Last edited 23/08/16 12:15 pm

    So What Is Metal Gear Survive?

    A terrible idea born from a company that really has no idea what it's doing. Sure it might be sound if you detach yourself from the universe it's meant to be associated with but they made the link everybody has no bloody idea why they've done this.

    Want to make money Konami? Finish Phantom Pain, release a coop DLC expansion and build upon your fucking product! I would pay for that... not this Survive bullshit that sounds like it's come from a bean counter that doesn't know what they're doing.

    I think a point worth noting, for the purists, is that this is not Metal Gear Solid 6.

    This is a spin-off, so no fucking shit it's going to be different. That's why you DO spin-offs. To take an existing, familiar world, with all its weirdness, and do something different in it.

    Here's hoping they explain why alien portal shenanigans happen to coincide with a conventional attack on a military base in the 1970's.

      Well, the portals were actually already in the game and had been for a while. I didn't really see much explanation for it then, either, so maybe a game whose premise is that those same portals went wrong and need to be used to get back might spend a bit more time on the concept that the main series didn't?

    What is Metal Gear Survive?

    a) An pre-existing zombie game shamelessly reskinned as a Metal Gear game?
    b) A steady stream of urine on Hideo Kojima's greatest legacy?
    c) The worst abuse of the Metal Gear franchise since Rising?
    d) All of the above?

    What is Metsl Gear Survive?

    Short answer without article:

    Complete and utter bullshit

    worst idea. dumbest stupid dumb retarded poo why dumb stupid stupid worst crap ever Aahhhhh!! &@&=<×&+%%&+>$!!!!! ?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now